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History of the English People, Volume II The Charter, 1216-1307; The Parliament, 1307-1400   By: (1837-1883)

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JOHN RICHARD GREEN, M.A. Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford

THE CHARTER, 1216 1307 THE PARLIAMENT, 1307 1400

First Edition, Demy 8vo, November 1877; Reprinted December 1877, 1881, 1885, 1890. Eversley Edition, 1895. London MacMillan and Co. and New York 1895


Volume II

Book III The Charter 1216 1307

Chapter II Henry the Third 1216 1232

Chapter III The Barons' War 1232 1272

Chapter IV Edward the First 1272 1307

Book IV The Parliament 1307 1461

Authorities for Book IV

Chapter I Edward II 1307 1327

Chapter II Edward the Third 1327 1347

Chapter III The Peasant Revolt 1347 1381

Chapter IV Richard the Second 1381 1400


Scotland in 1290 (v2 map 1.jpg)

France at the Treaty of Bretigny (v2 map 2.jpg)




[Sidenote: William Marshal]

The death of John changed the whole face of English affairs. His son, Henry of Winchester, was but nine years old, and the pity which was stirred by the child's helplessness was aided by a sense of injustice in burthening him with the iniquity of his father. At his death John had driven from his side even the most loyal of his barons; but William Marshal had clung to him to the last, and with him was Gualo, the Legate of Innocent's successor, Honorius the Third. The position of Gualo as representative of the Papal overlord of the realm was of the highest importance, and his action showed the real attitude of Rome towards English freedom. The boy king was hardly crowned at Gloucester when Legate and Earl issued in his name the very Charter against which his father had died fighting. Only the clauses which regulated taxation and the summoning of parliament were as yet declared to be suspended. The choice of William Marshal as "governor of King and kingdom" gave weight to this step; and its effect was seen when the contest was renewed in 1217. Lewis was at first successful in the eastern counties, but the political reaction was aided by jealousies which broke out between the English and French nobles in his force, and the first drew gradually away from him. So general was the defection that at the opening of summer William Marshal felt himself strong enough for a blow at his foes. Lewis himself was investing Dover, and a joint army of French and English barons under the Count of Perche and Robert Fitz Walter was besieging Lincoln, when gathering troops rapidly from the royal castles the regent marched to the relief of the latter town. Cooped up in its narrow streets and attacked at once by the Earl and the garrison, the barons fled in utter rout; the Count of Perche fell on the field, Robert Fitz Walter was taken prisoner. Lewis at once retreated on London and called for aid from France. But a more terrible defeat crushed his remaining hopes. A small English fleet which set sail from Dover under Hubert de Burgh fell boldly on the reinforcements which were crossing under escort of Eustace the Monk, a well known freebooter of the Channel. Some incidents of the fight light up for us the naval warfare of the time. From the decks of the English vessels bowmen poured their arrows into the crowded transports, others hurled quicklime into their enemies' faces, while the more active vessels crashed with their armed prows into the sides of the French ships. The skill of the mariners of the Cinque Ports turned the day against the larger forces of their opponents, and the fleet of Eustace was utterly destroyed. The royal army at once closed upon London, but resistance was really at an end. By a treaty concluded at Lambeth in September Lewis promised to withdraw from England on payment of a sum which he claimed as debt; his adherents were restored to their possessions, the liberties of London and other towns confirmed, and the prisoners on either side set at liberty... Continue reading book >>

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